Are You Ready for Home Ownership?
While most people know the main things they need to buy a home, such as stable employment and enough money for a down payment, there are a few other factors that may help you realize you’re ready – perhaps even earlier than you thought! In fact, there are four main things that can help you determine if you are ready for home ownership:
You Can Afford Your Down Payment and Ongoing Costs
It is easy for potential homeowners to get wrapped up in focusing on having enough money for the down payment and then forget about afterwards. It is important that you are not only financially able to afford the down payment, but that you can manage the monthly mortgage payments and ongoing maintenance as well. My Mortgage Toolbox app from Dominion Lending Centres has some great calculators to help you determine what you can afford on a monthly basis before you get in too deep. If you have enough funds in the bank for a down payment and are able to manage the monthly costs associated with the size and price range of home you would need, then you may be ready to start house-hunting!
You Have Good Credit
As most people know, credit score plays a major role in qualifying for financing to purchase a home. If you have a good credit score, which should now be at least 680 to qualify, then you have nothing to worry about! However, if your credit score is below this, it is more likely that you will be paying higher interest rates (and therefore have higher payments), or that you could be denied all-together. Before you begin your home buying journey, it is vital to have your credit score in order to ensure you can get the best mortgage product and rates. Working with a mortgage professional can help you get on the right track in the shortest time possible. Sometimes all that’s needed are a few subtle changes, or debt consolidation, to improve your credit score within a couple months.
No Other Large, Upcoming Expenses
Do you plan on buying two new vehicles in the next two years? Are you thinking of starting a family? Are you considering going back to school? Although you may think you can afford to purchase a home right now, it is vital to be honest about your future plans. What does your life look like in 1 year? 5 years? 10 years? If you know that you aren’t planning on incurring big expenses that you need to factor into your budget anytime soon, then that’s something that may help you decide to buy a home.
You Are Disciplined
One of the most important factors for purchasing a home is budgeting. You have to know what you can afford – and stick with it! It is easy to be tempted by a gorgeous 6 bedroom home or a backyard pool or private community, but at what cost? If going all-in is going to leave you scrambling each paycheck or derail any plans of future financial stability, it is worth rethinking. Understanding what you NEED in a new home, versus what you WANT, is a good step towards determining what you’re looking for and planning a budget that suits your needs so that you can continue to live comfortably.
These are just four signs that you may be ready to purchase a home. If you’re seriously considering buying or selling, talking with a mortgage professional can help ensure you have the best experience when it comes to buying a home!
Originally posted on the Dominion Lending Centres ‘Our House’ blog. The original post can be found here.